Navaratri is a festival dedicated to the worship of the Hindu deity Durga. The word Navaratri means ‘nine nights’ in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Devi are worshipped. The tenth day is commonly referred to as Vijayadashami or “Dussehra” (also spelled Dasara).
Garba happens at night in villages and neighborhoods all over India.
Best places to celebrate Navratri & Dussehra in India:
Religious pilgrimage during this festival focuses mainly in the Shakti Peethas: Ambaji, Pavagadh and Bahuchraji near Mehsana. There are also major celebrations in temples such as Ashapura Mata-no-Madh in Kutch, Khodiyar Mandir near Bhavnagar, and Chamunda Mata Mandir at Chotila on the Ahmedabad-Rajkot National Highway.
For those who prefer the massively crowded, extravagant garba set-ups with a gigantic stage, celebrity appearances and easily accessible entry passes, Ahmedabad has much to offer by way of local clubs like Rajpath, Karnavati,YMCA and Gulmohar Greens. If you prefer a more vibrant, exclusive and upscale garba, there are college campuses like NID and CEPT and places like Kalhaar Blues & Greens, where gaining an entry can require anything from paying hefty amounts to trading favours.
Baroda, or Vadodara, is more cosmopolitan and the garba venues are limited, but their energy pulsates throughout Gujarat! The MS Universitygarba is an institution, with its easy-going, laidback environs and a signature “no taali” (no clapping) garba. It is difficult to get in, but worthwhile trying anyway. Otherwise, see:United Way Of Baroda Garba.
Surat, the state’s diamond and textile capital, hosts some of the most happening garbas in Gujarat. It’s the unique garba culture that sets them apart, with youngsters enrolling in garba classes or groups weeks in advance. Every evening, hundreds of youngsters gather in their respective garba groups to practice and learn garba together, and then these groups unanimously decide where all of them will dance this season. The garba group owners arrange passes for their own participants. This year, the place to be is:Swarnabhoomi Garba.
As Goddess Shakti is worshipped as Durga in West Bengal, Navratri festival is known as Durga Puja in this state of India. A brand identity of Bengal, Durga Puja is a 5-day long cultural extravaganza. The capital city Kolkata is the hotbed of festivity. The cityscape is dotted with hundreds of different theme based pandals where the life-size idols of Durga and other family members are worshiped for 5 days. The city skyline is lit with beautiful lightings from twilight till wee hours. Kolkata does not sleep for 5 days as the people begin to hop around pandals in the evening and continue throughout the night. Though the festival ends with the immersion of idols on Maha Dashami, the celebration continues over the ceremony of exchanging warm greetings with near and dear ones, and the sweetening of mouths with bites of Rasogolla.
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so just step outside and follow the booming garba music.